Below you’ll find the show notes for episode 44, Coordinating Childcare for Bible Study and Women’s Ministry Events, from the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Podcast.
Our discipleship series continues today with a discussion on coordinating childcare.
I’ve got a few ideas to help you with common childcare struggles including recruiting help and paying for childcare.
Is there going to be childcare? It’s a question I wish we could always answer with a resounding “yes!” However, if you’ve ever been tasked with coordinating childcare for your women’s Bible study or women’s ministry events, you know just how much work is required behind the scenes to provide childcare.
Maybe you’ve encountered some of these childcare issues:
- Not enough volunteers (or paid staff) to cover every event.
- Most of your volunteers are women, so when they serve they miss the event.
- Your budget limits the number of times you can offer childcare.
- There aren’t enough trained workers (with background checks) to serve at all of your events.
Offering childcare can be complicated, but it’s a necessity for many of the women in your church – without it, they may not be able to attend your Bible study or event.
If you don’t have a lot of single moms in your church you might assume childcare is not needed. We assume dad can step in but that’s not always the case – some husbands work late, they may have another obligation, or they may not attend church and could view the impact on their evening negatively.
Moms who are homeschooling may not be able to attend a daytime Bible study if childcare is not offered for older children. You may even have some grandmothers who care for their grandchildren that would love to come to Bible study if childcare was offered.
The need for childcare may be greater than you know.
One of the biggest issues, I’ve faced as a childcare coordinator is a lack of workers.
I’ve heard many other leaders say this has been a big problem for them too.
Here are 4 ideas to address a shortage of childcare workers:
- Enlist the help of older homeschooled, high school, and college students.
- Rotate volunteers each serving half of the time so no one misses the whole event. Maybe you could allow those volunteers to attend the event for free in return.
- Assign each Bible study group one week to help with childcare.
- Reach out to a sister church in your area. They may have women at their church or teachers in their preschool program that will love to earn some extra money working during your events or your Bible study.
Cost is also a big issue leaders face when trying to offer childcare.
While it would be wonderful to offer free childcare for every event and every attendee, childcare is expensive to provide and the cost often needs to be supplemented.
- Charging per child with a max per family. For example, $5 a child, $15 max per family.
- Offering childcare scholarships for those in need.
- Taking up a love offering to cover childcare costs. Many women who don’t need childcare are often happy to help cover the costs for others.
- Staffing with a combination of volunteers and workers.
- Increase the registration fee for the event to supplement or cover estimated childcare costs.
- Request more money in your budget for childcare.
If you’re fortunate, there may be a church staff member that will oversee your women’s ministry childcare needs. If not, I encourage you to find someone to serve as your childcare coordinator.
When our boys were younger, I led the moms’ group in our church for a couple of years. That first year trying to organize our childcare program was hard! We quickly realized we needed more help in that area. In the second year, we recruited a childcare coordinator. It made a HUGE difference. She was able to step in when I child was having a hard time and when workers needed to run to the restroom. She made sure every room had the necessary snacks and supplies. She even scheduled our childcare workers. Having a childcare coordinator allowed me to focus on the moms in our group and fulfill the responsibilities of my role. Juggling the two did not work well!
Your childcare coordinator can also help provide sound, biblical age-appropriate teaching and activities.
Don’t miss the ministry opportunity God’s given you to share and show His love to the children you are caring for. While there may be times that childcare isn’t much different than babysitting, we can still weave in worship music and read a Bible story.
There will be church policies you’ll need to follow. This includes things like background checks, child-adult ratios, and disinfecting procedures.
If you’re finding this a bit overwhelming, my Women’s Ministry Event Planning Course includes more information on coordinating childcare that you’ll find helpful. You can find more information about the course at www.womensministrytraining.com.
Today’s Toolbox Tasks:
- If you’re not currently offering childcare, discuss what is needed to make it happen.
- If you are offering childcare, check in with your coordinator to make sure things are running smoothly and offer help where it is needed.
Realistically, it may not always be possible or feasible to provide childcare for every women’s ministry event, but it is something we can strive for.
Providing childcare will increase the number of women your Bible study or event can reach.
Thank you for reading.
Leading in women’s ministry can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! You’ll find support and ideas you can use in the Women’s Ministry Toolbox Community Facebook Group. We’d love for you to join us!
You may also want to read:
6 Questions Your Women Will Have About the First Day of Bible Study
Discussion Group Guidelines for Your Discipleship, Bible Study, or Small Group
Bible Study Facilitator Training
How to Be a Great Bible Study or Small Group Leader
How to Launch Your Next Bible Study Session
Tips to Increase Your Women’s Bible Study Attendance
Collecting and Sharing Prayer Requests in Your Discipleship, Bible Study, or Small Group